Looking for the right dentist could only mean two things: a lifetime of healthy smile or a whole era of rotten teeth. If you just moved in to another town or have been putting off a dental visit for a long time, you’ll most probably need to start looking for a new one.
Patients who have had terrible experiences with their dentist can suffer from extreme dental anxiety. They may never go back to any dentist. That’s why finding the right dentist can really make a difference and should not be taken lightly.
How do you choose the dentist that matches your need?
01What Kind of Dentist Do You Need? General dentists are trained to do all types of treatment. However, if you have difficult or unusual dental conditions, your dentist may refer you to a specialist.
- Endodontists diagnose and treat diseased tooth pulp and perform root canal work.
- Prosthodontists perform esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth through various procedures like crowns, bridges and dentures.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are surgical specialists with expertise in treating conditions of the mouth, teeth, jaws and associated structures.
- Orthodontists correct gaps, bites and improperly positioned teeth, using braces and other dental appliances to move teeth into a better position.
- Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases, and in the placement of dental implants.
Extremely nervous patients may want to look for a dentist who specializes in dental anxiety management. Others opt to see a pain-free treatment dental specialist.
02 Convenience is an important factor in finding a dentist. You’re more likely to keep your dental appointment when the clinic is near your home or workplace. You may inquire about their clinic hours. For example, is the dentist available after work hours and on weekends? Does he offer emergency dental treatments?
03 Check for Credentials. It goes without saying that you need your dentist to be competent. That means he or she maintains a high level of professionalism and is abreast with the latest in his field. Don’t be afraid to ask where the dentist received his training or how long he has been in practice. You may also call your local dental society for a list of recommended dentists in your area or check online for reviews and information written by other patients.
04 Consider cost and insurance coverage. While other patients remain loyal to their dentist regardless of their service costs, others depend highly on their dental insurance. Checking your options with your insurance provider may give you extra benefits, so make sure you give them a call before making an appointment.
05 Check for Patient Comfort Services. To make your visit is as comfortable as possible inquire in advance if their clinic offers pre-medication or nitrous oxide, and amenities such as music, movies or heating pads.
06 Book an appointment. Research and recommendations are always useful, but the only way to guarantee that you’ve found your perfect match is by scheduling your first dental visit. This is your chance to evaluate a prospective dentist. Fire away with your questions and observe the surroundings! Did the staff seem to take a sincere interest in your dental health? Were they friendly and courteous? Did you have a hard time communicating your concerns?
Proper oral healthcare is a lifelong commitment. If your first appointment was pleasant and you were made to feel comfortable and at ease, you may have just found for yourself a new dentist!